(c) georgtown.edu
(c) georgtown.edu

Dancing is one of my favorite things, and it’s really not unusual for me to do it when I’m writing as it helps with my expression, thinking, fluidity. Vulindlela is one of the most danced to songs in my studio.

It all started with the fancy little affair called “5 Under 35.” Every year, the National Book Foundation recognizes five authors under the age of 35 for having written an outstanding piece of work. The event is actually quite hip. This year it features a celebrity host (Portlandia co-star) and Dj Colson Whitehead.

Home girl has been appearing on several high-profile shortlists. She’s officially the most sought-after African novelist of 2013. Not surprised that our own NoViolet Bulawayo is one of the honored five.

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Anyway, each of the five authors were asked to make a spotify playlist of songs that may or may not have had something to do with their writing.

I had goose bumps listening to the Brenda Fassie and Lucky Dube selections. Moved by the fact that we all grew up listening to the same songs–I in Nigeria, she in Zimbabwe.

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Okay, start listening and let’s dance!

1. Zim Ngqawana, “Quala Kwedini”
“Zim Ngqawana is for summoning the ancestors and muse, always; his music gets me in the zone.”

2. Lovemore Majaivana, “Kuleliyani ‘zwe”
“Majaivana is singing about his better days in Zimbabwe, and of course as someone who is stuck in Zim’s past (I left the country at 18) I connect to the song; it’s my nostalgia anthem.”

Lucky Dube, “House of Exile”
“This lament of a displaced freedom fighter is still relevant to anyone who knows something about leaving one’s homeland. It definitely suits the second half of the book that’s set in the US. I remember listening to the song a lot around 2008-9, the height of the Zim crisis.”

Brenda Fassie, “Vulindlela”
“Dancing is one of my favorite things, and it’s really not unusual for me to do it when I’m writing as it helps with my expression, thinking, fluidity. Vulindlela is one of the most danced to songs in my studio.”

Black Motion feat. Jah Rich, “Banane Mavoko”
“If Darling, Bastard, Stina, Godknows, Chipo and Sbho (the young characters in We Need New Names) had ipods, this is what they’d be listening to.”

 

If you have a spotify account, you can listen to all five songs HERE.